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Assembly Members briefed on e-cigarettes

9 July 2015


Assembly Members have been briefed on trends in e-cigarette use among young people in Wales by a Cardiff University academic

The presentation comes as the National Assembly considers measures to restrict the use of nicotine inhaling devices as part of the Public Health (Wales) Bill. 

Dr Adam Fletcher from the University's Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), presented the findings of two nationally representative surveys of primary and secondary school children from more than 150 schools in Wales, carried out in 2013 and 2014.

He shared the research findings with Assembly Members, stating that, while many teens try e-cigarettes, few go on to become regular users. Members also heard that those who do become regular users are also likely to smoke conventional cigarettes, with the odds of regular use of e-cigarettes being 100 times higher among current weekly smokers than among non-smokers.

Commenting on the research, Dr Adam Fletcher said: "The findings suggest that, at present, e-cigarettes are unlikely to make a major direct contribution to adolescent nicotine addiction.  The strong link between current smoking and e-cigarette use also suggests that teens are not using these products to help them quit smoking."

Dr Fletcher added, "It was positive to be able to share the research with decision makers directly, and contribute to this important discussion."

The presentation was the latest in a series of regular academic briefings for Members of the National Assembly for Wales and their staff, to support their work and help develop evidence-based policy-making.

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